Mapping the world's opinions

argument top image

What is the definition of love? Show more Show less

Few words in the English language convey such a range of meanings as the word "love". For many, love is the reason for being, the subject of countless books, artwork, films, and works of theatre. But what is love? Is it an animalistic urge, a deep emotional connection, the manifestation of physical and chemical reactions, the act of being entirely devoted to another individual, or nothing at all?

Love is a union Show more Show less

Love is the act of going from an 'I' to a 'We'.
<< Previous (4 of 8 Positions) Next >>

The Hebrew word for love

The Hebrew word reveals the true definition of love.

(1 of 4 Arguments) Next >>


The Hebrew word for love is ahavah. The word comes from the root consonants h-v meaning "to give".

The Argument

By definition of the Hebrew word for love, without the action of giving, there can be no love. Giving is an essential component of loving someone. In order for it to be real, it must be expressed as an act of giving. Without this action or behaviour, there can be no love.[1]

Counter arguments

Just because one language defines love in this way does not make it a universally accepted definition of love. The Ilocano language in the Philippines has no word for love, does that mean we should accept love does not exist? The Japanese language had no word for love until the late nineteenth century. Does that mean before that it simply didn't exist in Japanese culture?[2]


[P1] The Hebrew word for love includes the root consonants for the act of giving. [P2] In the Hebrew language, giving is an essential component of loving. [P3] Giving is an action. [P4] Therefore, the way we act and behave is a central part of loving someone.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] Other languages define love differently. [Rejecting P4] Who is to say the Hebrew language has the universally correct definition of love?




Do you agree?

Sign up or log in to record your thoughts on this argument

Explore related arguments

This page was last edited on Thursday, 11 Apr 2019 at 15:40 UTC